Usually I feel the need to get clever with my post titles, but this home made ice cream is so simple and so good that it requires none of my schtick. Three ingredients come together in about 5 minutes of hands on time (longer for chilling and freezing, of course!) to form a sweet exotic frozen miracle that needs almost no accompaniment.
Thai tea on its own is luscious - a blend of red and black tea leaves, with coconut and warming spices...it's even better when loaded with evaporated milk and ice...and better still when it gets all mixed up with sweetened condensed milk and half and half and takes a ride in the ice cream machine...
Yes, you'll need an ice cream machine to make this happen. I know, it's unfair. But this ice cream, being that its major component is tea (also known as water), can't achieve an edible texture when simply mixed then left in the freezer to solidify. It will turn into an unappetizing opaque ice cube. So yes, bummer if you don't have a machine, and my apologies for taunting you.
This is probably one of the best desserts I've made in a long time. It's not super pretty (see pics, there was no time for a glamour shot, it was gone in minutes). But, that's because it's natural and not full of xanthan gum and other nasty stabilizers. It melts on the fast side but it is still possible to wrangle into an sugar cone. It was a hit recently at a dinner party I hosted, served with lemon pizelle and a side of drunken Balderdash.
Thai Tea Ice Cream
barely adapted from Mac & Cheese
2 1/2 cups boiling water
*1/3 cup loose thai tea, or 6 tea bags (I couldn't find the loose stuff, and was hoping for something caffeine free, so I used this)
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup half and half
Boil water and steep tea for 20 minutes, then strain (if using loose tea) and let cool to room temperature. Mix 1 1/2 cups brewed tea with sweetened condensed milk and half and half. Chill thoroughly. Freeze mixture in your ice cream machine according to manufacturer instructions (generally this takes about 30 minutes). Let harden to your desired texture in the freezer. Makes about 1 quart ~ 6 servings.
*I've also followed this recipe with white peach oolong tea from Stash with great results, but the thai tea route is even better! (so much better)